Hydroponics Online Home Home Store Blog Forums FAQs Lesson Plans Pictures

Go Back   Hydroponics Forums Discussions > Hydroponics Discussion Forums > Hydroponics

Tomato's bottom leaves wilded and dry


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-01-2016, 04:53 PM
jhinkle jhinkle is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Default Tomato's bottom leaves wilded and dry

I'm in Key West. Started 4 tomato plants late December.

Planted as a Dutch Bucket. 5 gal pail -- half filled with drainage stones and top half in perlite.

Water tub holds 12 gallons and is currently at 82.2f for temp.

I use Jack’s Professional 5-12-26 Hydroponic and
Jack’s Professional 15-0-0 Calcium Nitrate mixed 1:1 ratio.

I use a bluelabs EC/pH meter -- calibrated every week.

I use RO water and PH is around 6.8 - EC 0.1

Water flow off of the 4 buckets is about 1/2 to 2/3 gallon per minute.

The bottom leaves look wilted and are dry. They are spotted white and I think that is from rain water --- it's been wet in the keys.

They started to flower 2 weeks ago and 2 have a single fruit growing.

I started 12/27 with 12 gallons, EC of 2.9 and PH of 6.3

1/11 EC was up to 3.1 and PH 7.3 --- I added PH down to bring PH to 5.8 -- added 4 gal water

1/28 EC 3.2, PH 7.7 -- added PH down to bring tank to PH5.6

2/1 EC 3.44, PH 8.2 --- and leaves are as explained above. --- I added 4 gal of straight RO water -- will measure EC and PH after is flows through the system a while

Plants do not seem to be consuming much water. -- 4 gal in 3 weeks --- seems low

I googled PH going up and found that the most likly reason is that the plants are consuming nitrogen - which is good.

The PH is creeping up but I found papers stating that an EC of 4 will slow growth down as it puts the plant is a slight water starved mode but increases the quality and taste of the fruit.

Issues as I see right now:

1. Wilted-dry bottom leaves.

2. PH going up every day.

3. Low water consumption.

Any help or comments would be very much appreciated.

Thanks

Joe





Last edited by jhinkle; 02-01-2016 at 04:59 PM. Reason: Missing pictures
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-01-2016, 06:47 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

Hello jhinkle,
I have a few questions:

1. How often do you change your nutrient solution?
2. How much nutrient does JRPeters recommend using for a full strength nutrient? I believe they go by weight (something like 11.4 oz) per 100 gallons. They do for the herb formula anyway.
3. How much are you using?
4. What is the humidity?
5. Do the white spots feel powdery?
6. Can you smear the white spots?
7. Do you notice any insects around the plants? Especially like tiny white fly's, spider mites, or aphids etc..

P.S.
I would pluck off the leaves with the white spots. Also I would put them in an air tight bag or burn them to get rid of them.
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems

Last edited by GpsFrontier; 02-01-2016 at 06:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-01-2016, 08:06 PM
jhinkle jhinkle is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
Hello jhinkle,
I have a few questions:

1. How often do you change your nutrient solution?
2. How much nutrient does JRPeters recommend using for a full strength nutrient? I believe they go by weight (something like 11.4 oz) per 100 gallons. They do for the herb formula anyway.
3. How much are you using?
4. What is the humidity?
5. Do the white spots feel powdery?
6. Can you smear the white spots?
7. Do you notice any insects around the plants? Especially like tiny white fly's, spider mites, or aphids etc..

P.S.
I would pluck off the leaves with the white spots. Also I would put them in an air tight bag or burn them to get rid of them.
Funny you ask question #1 -- about changing out the nutrient solution. I read a paper from cornell univ:
http://www.greenhouse.cornell.edu/cr...ic-recipes.pdf

I spoke at length to Dr. Cari Peters on that subject. Cari stated that changing nutrient solutions was necessary when the fertilizer being used was not properly designed for hydroponics and overtime the nutrient ratios would change as some nutrients were consumed faster than others.

I grow lettuce and tomatoes and asked specifically about those two. Cari stated that Jack's 5-12-26 + 15-0-0 calcium nitrate did not require changing except at the end of the growing cycle. Cari stated that the nutrients in the hydroponic mix was all soluble and mixed in the proper ratios to make intermediate changing not required. This is my first try at tomatoes so I will see how well things work out.

Question #2&3 -- The Cornell paper -- 360 grams of each are for 100 gallons. Jack's blog states 368 grams.

I use 3.68 g per gallon --- I uses a scale with .01g resolution.

Question #4 -- I'm right on the ocean - 85 to 90% is what weatherbug states.

Questions 5&6 -- I just went out and cut every stem that had white marks on them. I brought one inside and looked at it under a microscope. It looks like patches of small spider webs. You can smear the white spots - as is you are collapsing the web and smearing the strands together.

Question #7. I have looked and found no insects.

Do you have an idea/guess as to what the white spots are? If insect -- how to get rid of them?

I grew tomatoes for several years in earthboxes down here and had no insect problems. Two years ago - and for a two year period -- I had an invasion of what I call tomato worms. I have not seen any sign of them as of today.

I started late (I wanted to grow from seed) so I purchased these 4 plants from Home Depot. I usually don't like to buy plants from them as I have found they come with insects and issues. Maybe my white spots were there all the time and I did not notice them with the plants only being 4 inches tall.

I appreciate your comments and would love to hear your comments based on my answers.

Thanks

Last edited by jhinkle; 02-01-2016 at 08:10 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-01-2016, 09:59 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

Hello jhinkle,

Quote:
Funny you ask question #1 -- about changing out the nutrient solution. I read a paper from cornell univ:
http://www.greenhouse.cornell.edu/cr...ic-recipes.pdf

I spoke at length to Dr. Cari Peters on that subject. Cari stated that changing nutrient solutions was necessary when the fertilizer being used was not properly designed for hydroponics and overtime the nutrient ratios would change as some were consumed faster than others.

I grow lettuce and tomatoes and asked specifically about those two. Cari stated that Jack's 5-12-26 + 15-0-0 calcium nitrate did not require changing except at the end of the growing cycle. Cari stated that the nutrients in the hydroponic mix was all soluble and mixed in the proper ratios to make intermediate changing not required. This is my first try at tomatoes so I will see how well things work out.
I wasn't there for your conversation. but I'm sure there are a lot of miscommunications for one reason or another. Large commercial growing operations can get away without changing the nutrient solution for two reasons. But neither of them are in your favor. Commercial operations can get around this by either running their system as a non-recirculating system, or lab testing the plants and adding back only the specific elements the plants use faster/more of. Your system is recirculating, and you don't have the ability to test and only add back specific mineral salts. Every time you add nutrients your adding ALL of them, not just the ones the plants used most of. It doesn't mater how properly balanced the nutrients are designed, plants don't use the nutrients evenly no mater what. Eventually your nutrient solution will become unbalanced, leading to toxic buildup of nutrients that the plants don't use as much of.

You can reduce the effects of nutrient imbalance for a specific time frame by using nutrients designed for a specific crop like tomato's. But you cant change it without changing the nutrient solution, running it as a non-recirculating system, or lab testing and only adding back the specific mineral salts the plants have used. For the home grower lab testing is to expensive and not cost effective. So that leaves either changing the nutrient solution regularly, or running it as a non recirculating system.

One sure sign you need to change your nutrient solution is the rapid pH swings. That's why I asked how often you change it, because you were experiencing them. But before I gave any advice I wanted to know if this could be related to expended nutrient solution, or something else. That's one of the reasons I asked about this. The other reason is if your nutrient solution is unbalanced, you could be experiencing any number of nutrient deficiencies and/or toxicities as well. How often you should change the nutrient solution depends on a lot of variables, but mostly depending on the size of the plant compared to the water volume. I wrote an article "What size reservoir do I need" to help explain these things.

Quote:
The Cornell paper -- 360 grams of each are for 100 gallons. Jack's blog states 368 grams.
Just for future reference, I always recommend asking the nutrient manufacture only because I want the information to come from the horses mouth. So I'm not really interested in what Cornell says, but if JRPeters has a blog that gives this information that's fine. I usually e-mail them the question directly to make sure I understand correctly. I'm not really familiar with grams, but if the grams to ounce converter I used is correct, 368 grams is about 13 oz. That seems a little high to me, I know what your using is a different formula than the herb formula. If it were me, I would e-mail them just to be sure.

Quote:
I'm right on the ocean - 85 to 90% is what weatherbug states.
I asked about this for two reasons. One is the spots could be fungus, one is more common in dry climates, but humid climates are more susceptible to fungal growth. The best defense against fungal growth in humid climates is good air circulation. The other reason I asked about humidity is to find out if spider mites may be likely in your area. While I'm not sure how many species of spider mites there are, I think they all prefer hot dry climates. But I could be wrong.

Quote:
Questions 5&6 -- I just went out and cut every stem that had white marks on them. I brought one inside and looked at it under a microscope. It looks like patches of small spider webs. You can smear the white spots - as is you are collapsing the web and smearing the strands together.
This leads me to think your experiencing either a fungal growth, or spider mites. Spider mites are very small and hard to see with the naked eye. Usually you don't even notice until there's an infestation. If left long enough, the webs will become very noticeable that they are webs, and usually when you become aware they are there. Under a microscope a fungus can look like tiny hairs/webs, but unlike actual spider webs, a fungus is more localized like growing spots, and not warped around leaves and stems.

The reason I suggested to pluck the leaves and get rid of them by either putting them in an air tight bag (like a Ziploc) or burning them is the only sure way to keep either fungal spores and from spreading, and/or spider mites from migrating. Even if you place them in the trash unless their contained spores can become airborne, and spider mites will crawl out to find somewhere else to go near by.

The best defense ageist insects is a healthy plant. Insects are drawn to plants with their defenses down first. Their looking for an easy target. But if you notice their a problem with insects, first you need to identify what you have, in order to deal with the. Tomato horn worms are hard to spot at first, but will be unmistakable when you notice your leaves being eaten down to the stem. Tomato horn worms don't leave white spots, they eat the whole leaves.


Let me know if you think the spots appear to a a fungus instead of spider mites. I have some articles saved on dealing with fungus that I could post for you.
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-01-2016, 11:50 PM
jhinkle jhinkle is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Default

I very much appreciate your comments.

Re-looking at my documentation and emails from JR Peters -- they were mostly on lettuce which is growing nicely for me.

Since Dr. Cari Peters co-authored the Cornell paper, I went with the JR Peters recipe for tomatoes stated there -- it gave me an initial EC of 2.9. Howard Resh states that an EC range of 1.5 to 3.0 was good for tomatoes. I've read other articles that state the 1.5 to 3.0 EC produces a good volume of tomatoes but not flavorful ones -- tastes like the one in the store - bland. For flavor -- the EC should be 4.0 to 4.5 --- so I was not concerned about my EC climbing to 3.4.

Here is the excerpt from Jack's blog:

The 5-12-26 + Calcium Nitrate is a great vegetative fertilizer if you need to modify your nitrogen needs or to fit in with your specific water types. This combo can be used to grow a wide range of crops from lettuces, herbs, and fruiting crops. In its simplest formula you can mix ˝ tsp. of each product in a gallon of water. I generally do not recommend this rate, but if you only need a small amount, it works. To make 10 gallons of solution follow this formula:
In 10 gallons of water, dissolve 1.3 ounces of 5-12-26, when that is totally dissolved add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts for extra Magnesium and Sulfur. Finally add in .86 ounces of Calcium Nitrate. This will give you 150ppm of Nitrogen, which is the perfect rate for growing hydroponically.


Point taken of nutrient unbalance and changing out the solution. Earlier today I added 4 gallons of straight RO water - no nutrients. Tomorrow I will flush the system and start anew. Being a retire engineer, I'll start collecting data daily - add a variable for plant size -- and see if I can start predicting when to change out the solution as opposed to waiting until I get massive PH swings.

I looked at the white spots under a stereo microscope and they look like small patches of tiny hairs -- not spider web as I previously stated. That would lead me to conclude that my issue is a fungus as you stated in your post. Please share your fungus article.

Thanks again for your comments.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-03-2016, 02:18 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

Hello jhinkle,

I have 5 articles for you:

The Grey Ghost
by Dr. Lynette Morgan 2002-01-01
http://staging.maximumyield.com/arti...=116&submit=Go


Powdery Mildew
by Dr. Lynette Morgan 2001-03-01
http://staging.maximumyield.com/arti...D=78&submit=Go


Maddening Mildew: Prevention and Control
by Dr. Lynette Morgan 2010-10-01
http://staging.maximumyield.com/arti...=622&submit=Go


Furry Frustrations
Written by Dr. Lynette Morgan March 2013
http://www.maximumyield.com/inside-m...y-frustrations


The Fungus Among Us!
by Cindy Rea, 2005-11-01
http://www.maximumyield.com/article_...=273&submit=Go

Unfortunately the links don't work anymore. Maximum yield has updated their website and either taken the pages out of their database, or changed the links. Either way the links don't work anymore. When I find good articles from creditable sources and authors, I save them in a text document, and file them on my computer to save them. So even though the links don't work, I still have them in their entirety on my computer.

If you send me a private message with an e-mail address, I can send you the text documents with the articles. I don't save the e-mail address or put it on a mailing list, and I recommend only giving me your e-mail through a private message because that way I will be the only one that ever sees it. If you don't trust giving me your e-mail, create a new free e-mail account. It only takes 5 minutes to create a e-mail account. But I would really like to get you these articles, and the only way I can is to e-mail you the text documents I have saved.

Quote:
I've read other articles that state the 1.5 to 3.0 EC produces a good volume of tomatoes but not flavorful ones -- tastes like the one in the store - bland. For flavor -- the EC should be 4.0 to 4.5 --- so I was not concerned about my EC climbing to 3.4.
You may not know this but most store bought tomatoes are hydroponically grown. Their not bland because of low nutrient concentrations, their bland because they were picked before they were fully ripe. Even the so called vine ripened tomatoes are the same. They just leave the stems attached when they ship them so they can technically call them "vine ripened." You've grown tomatoes before so you know how how they should taste and when their ripe enough. You wouldn't pick them when their pink, and set them on the counter waiting for them to turn red. But that's exactly what happens with store bought tomatoes, and why their bland. They pick them pink and let them turn red during shipping and sitting on the shelf in the store. They would get soft way to soon if they waited tell their ripe to pick them. They can't sell them if their soft. Nobody buys soft fruit. I'll bet even you like to feel the tomatoes and would only buy them if they are nice and firm with no blemishes. That's what sells, not ripe. If you want actual ripe tomatoes, you have to grow them yourself.

There are a lot of environmental factors that affect nutrient uptake, as well as water needs by the plant, like plant size, amount of fruit on the plant, temperature, humidity, light (photosynthesis), oxygen levels, co2 levels, etc. etc.. There are times it's better to use lower nutrient concentrations, and times to raise concentrations. But to simply conclude that higher nutrient concentrations will always produces better tomato is wrong. In fact I have another article to send you as well called:

Nutrients - Over and Under Use
by Dr. Lynette Morgan 2001-05-01
http://staging.maximumyield.com/arti...D=81&submit=Go

And I'll post a direct quote from the article:

"Some crops such as lettuce and other greens prefer a much lower EC than fruiting crops such as tomatoes, and each crop has its own ideal EC range for optimum growth. When the EC is being run to high for a particular plant, this will show as visible symptoms within the crop. A high EC, effectively puts the plants under `water stress' since the plant cells begin to lose water, back into the more concentrated nutrient solution surrounding the roots. As a result the first sign of nutrient `overuse' is plant wilting, even when supplied with sufficient nutrient solution. If the high EC conditions re not too severe, the plants will adjust to these conditions and you may see growth which is `hard' in appearance - often a darker green then usually, with shorter plants and smaller leaves."

While higher concentrations can be beneficial to certain plants and under certain circumstances, there is a definite downside of concentrations that are to high as well. So understanding the things that affect nutrient and water uptake, as well as how and why these factors affect the plant is more complicated than just saying higher is better. I rarely ever use nutrient solutions at 100% strength. Typically I'll make it about 75%-80% strength for full grown plants and plants in full growth. Younger plants anywhere from 10% for sprouts and seedlings, then 25%-50% and up to 75%-80% depending on size.

Quote:
Being a retire engineer, I'll start collecting data daily - add a variable for plant size -- and see if I can start predicting when to change out the solution as opposed to waiting until I get massive PH swings.
I have created some "Daily/weekly Hydroponic system charts" for collecting data. I tried to get as much in one sheet of paper using both sides as I can to eliminate tons of paper needing to be used over time.

But honestly, I don't even use them. I physically look at my plants on a daily basis, and can tell by looking at them if the nutrient concentrations are low, to high, diluted (spent). As a grower, I'm about as lazy as it gets when it comes to writing things down. Most of the time I don't even mark on the calendar when I changed the nutrients. I generally go anywhere between 1-4 weeks between nutrient changes. Also sometimes I will just add back some diluted nutrients to bring up the concentrations if I feel the plants could use it, but don't think I need to do a full nutrient change yet. Again it all depends on the environmental factors that affect the plants water and nutrient uptake, as well as water volume compared to plant size.

When I start seeing changes like the overall growth seems to slow down, the new leaves start coming out a lighter green (yellowing), the nutrients are spent. I don't check pH daily, but if I suspect a problem, or know the nutrients haven't been changed for a while, I'll pay closer attention to daily pH and look for abnormal swings. Also if the plants are drinking a lot of water compared to your total water volume, and your having to add back 20% or more water back daily to keep the water level up, that will deplete your nutrients much quicker. As well as cause pH swings if you don't pH adjust the water before adding it to your nutrient solution.

Quote:
To make 10 gallons of solution follow this formula:
In 10 gallons of water, dissolve 1.3 ounces of 5-12-26, when that is totally dissolved add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts for extra Magnesium and Sulfur. Finally add in .86 ounces of Calcium Nitrate. This will give you 150ppm of Nitrogen, which is the perfect rate for growing hydroponically.
This is a good example of why I would contact the manufacture directly to clarify what they recommend for the crops I'm using their nutrients on. I don't know why this person is recommending adding the Epsom Salts. The full description for those exact nutrients on JRPeters website states:

"This formula was designed as a base foundation for hydroponic growing. It can be manipulated in such a manner as to provide virtually any combination of nutrient levels desired, providing the highest availability to plants, due primarily to Jack’s has proven ability to remain in true solution over long periods of time. Should be used in combination with the 15-0-0 Calcium Nitrate in a two-part system."

So first, the manufacture makes no reference to adding Epsom salts in the first place. Second there is no ratio for adding it in the statement you posted. If I'm going to be adding it, I would want to know why, as well as know exactly how much (the ratio). A balanced nutrient solution would already contain Magnesium and Sulfur. And If there were some crops that could benefit from increasing the Magnesium and Sulfur levels, I would want to know which crops those were first before just adding it because someone else did. Then because adding Magnesium and Sulfur will change the balance of nutrients, I would want to know the exact ratio for adding it in the second place.
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-16-2016, 09:21 PM
jhinkle jhinkle is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Default PH Issue

I dumped my nutrient solution as suggested and started anew.

4 days later the PH started to increase into the 8.2+ region every day. I'd add PH down -- get it in the 5.5 area --- 24 hours later --- back into the 8 range.

I use RO water as I have chlorimide in my tap water and multiple scientific paper state that chlorimide will negatively effect plant growth.

I also discovered that the RO process removes all PH buffering leaving only the PH buffering provided by the nutrients that are added.

I also discovered that adding O2 to the nutrient solution -- via a bubblier -- tends to offset the PH in the UP direction.

So it appears the nutrients I use have little buffering in them since after a day or two (maybe simple do to the bubblier) -- the PH tips and swings UP by several points.

I've been adding PH down but that is NOT addressing the buffering issue --- just chasing the PH dog's tail.

Any suggestions on a PH buffer that can be added?

I know that a buffering solution is made by mixing equal and opposite amounts of acid and base --- so that a small shift in PH does not produce a big swing as I am experiencing.

All comments welcomed.

Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-16-2016, 10:47 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

Hello jhinkle,

Quote:
I also discovered that the RO process removes all PH buffering leaving only the PH buffering provided by the nutrients that are added.
RO water is fine, the buffers in the nutrients is all you need. Assuming the nutrients have pH buffers. If not they should.

Quote:
I also discovered that adding O2 to the nutrient solution -- via a bubblier -- tends to offset the PH in the UP direction.
Where did you hear this. Using a bubblier has never changed pH. If it does you got bigger problems because the air your breathing has toxic levels of chemicals in it.

Quote:
I've been adding PH down but that is NOT addressing the buffering issue --- just chasing the PH dog's tail.
Buffering isn't an issue as long as your using quality nutrients with pH buffers. Something is wrong, either something foreign has been introduced into your reservoir, or your misusing or mishandling the nutrients.

Quote:
I know that a buffering solution is made by mixing equal and opposite amounts of acid and base --- so that a small shift in PH does not produce a big swing as I am experiencing.
Don't go concocting your own chemical additives, that is unless you enjoy problems.

If your pH is drastically rising daily, even on fresh nutrients, something is wrong in your reservoir. To figure it out, start with the basics. Forgive me if you already answered some of these questions, but it's much easier and less time consuming to just ask, than it is to go through the whole thread looking for a few words here and there.

1. You said your using RO water, but has the RO system had regular maintenance done and filters changed?
2. Is RO water all that you use? and have ever used? As an example using mostly RO, but adding some tap water because you couldn't get enough RO water from the RO system in time.
3. Have you tested the RO pH? Right from the tap without anything in it, and from the same sample of water daily for a week to look for pH swings in the water supply?
4. What nutrients are you using?
5. Have you used any other nutrients on those plants?
6. How exactly are you mixing the nutrients? Both what you add and how much, as well as the process you go through when mixing them.
7. Did you add anything other than the nutrients to the reservoir (now or ever)? Any additives etc. etc.. (list everything that has now or ever gone into the reservoir water)
8. How are you checking pH? (pH meter, pH drops, if drops what kind)
9. What are you using for pH adjusters?
10. What does the water in the reservoir look like (is it translucent/clear or clowdy)?
11. What does the water in the reservoir smell like? Does it smell musty or moldy?
12. is there any foam on top of the water?
13. Is there any white powder looking residue at the bottom of the reservoir?
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-20-2016, 11:40 AM
jhinkle jhinkle is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Default

Thanks for your reply.

After a lot of research and testing - it turn out that the PH Down I was using was too "weak" for the job.

I got distracted measuring the initial PH of my RO water as it was not making sense. I was told by people I trust that PH of RO water was unstable -- but they failed to explain further. Here is my RO testing:

Tap water PH (from the water autority in Key West) is between 9.0 and 9.5.

I measure 9.0 using a Bluelab PH meter and PH indicator solution.

Freshly made PH comes out at the same same PH -- 9.0.

If I let it set in the open for 2 days -- the PH drops to 7.1

I made two 4 gal pails of nutrient solution to add to my tank: #1 pail was 2 day old RO water with a PH of 7.1 and #2 pail was newly made RO with a PH of 9.0.

After mixes the same nutrient mix in both -- the resulting PH of BOTH pails were exactly the same -- at 6.7.

I have multiple books by Howard Resh. Opened then and researched PH management - specifically PH Down. I was using citric acid I purchased from my fertilizer manufacture but from previous post -- you can see it wasd ineffective. After talking with the manufacture, they stated that several of their customers stated their PH Down was too "weak". The manufacture suggest a stronger acid -- battery acid.

Resh also stated battery acid but also recommended Muriatic acid. Home Depot sells a gallon of Muriatic Acid – Hydrocloric acid – 31.45% for $6.

The solution in my tank was at an EC of 2.0 with a PH of 8.1 (about 14 gallons of solution).

I added the two pail of nutrient solution (8 gallons) to my existing tank and the resulting EC was 2.4 and PH of 7.0.

Added 11 grams of muriatic acid which brought the PH down to 5.9. I let this circulate for 12 hours. Resulting PH ended at 6.7.

Added more muriatic acid and have stabilized my PH at 5.7.

I don't expect to see a large PH swing now -- but the next 36 hours will tell all.

Thanks for your comments.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-20-2016, 07:26 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

I see I wasted my time replying since you never bothered to answer the questions. So I probably wasting my time again, so I wont make it long or elaborate much.

1.) If your initial pH is actually that high you have HARD water, and a RO system that's not working correctly (probably clogged due to the hard water).

2.) Electric meters often give false results. I'm not sure what you mean by "and PH indicator solution," but unless your using pH drops to check pH, there's a chance your readings are not correct.

3.) When the water supply has high pH you ALWAYS adjust pH both before and after adding the nutrients.

4.) Citrus acid (designed for hydroponics) works just fine as a pH adjuster. If you want something with more longevity (buffers), use GH dry pH adjusters. But never use anything like battery acid or Muriatic acid that is NOT designed for hydroponics. And before you say Howard Resh said to use it again, I know who Howard Resh is and his credentials. You have a problem with your water supply and method in which you adjust pH, not a problem the pH adjusters. Sticking harsh chemicals in the water won't change that.

P.S.
You may very well have other issues going on other than your water supply and pH adjusting methods. But since you don't bother to answer any of my questions, I can't help you. You want to fix a problem, start with the basics to narrow down the problem. Putting a band-aid on it will cover it up, but won't make it go away.
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems

Last edited by GpsFrontier; 02-20-2016 at 07:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-21-2016, 09:02 AM
jhinkle jhinkle is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Default

I'm sorry to see my actions got you upset. I did not reply promptly because I had to address my PH issue and your questions were not on the path toward a solution.

I now have time and am pleased to answer:

Quote:
1. You said your using RO water, but has the RO system had regular maintenance done and filters changed?
The RO system is brand new. I have it connected to a bathroom faucet and create RO as required. I use RO water for my hydroponic lettuce and tomatoes and in the making of sourdough bread.

Quote:
2. Is RO water all that you use? and have ever used? As an example using mostly RO, but adding some tap water because you couldn't get enough RO water from the RO system in time.
I only use RO water. I have seen statements about mixing a percentage of tap water to help stabilize the PH but I have not taken that path. The water in the Florida Keys contains chlorimide which can not be removed from the water using the same methods to remove chlorine. Chlorimide in the water severely stunts the growth of lettuce so I remove it.

Quote:
3. Have you tested the RO pH? Right from the tap without anything in it, and from the same sample of water daily for a week to look for pH swings in the water supply?
Water in the Florida comes from mainland Florida. In my case, that's 100 miles away. I contacted the water authority and asked about water quality and PH levels. The water supplied to the Keys has a PH that is maintained between 9.0 and 9.5. I have measured the PH at the tap multiple times across multiple days and it is aways above 9.0 but never above 9.5.

Quote:
4. What nutrients are you using?
I am using Jack's 5-12-26 plus Calcium Nitrate.

Quote:
5. Have you used any other nutrients on those plants?
In the first tank of solution (which I dumped) I also added a small amount of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt). There is no Epsom Salt in my current tank and no other chemicals except Citric Acid used as a PH Up adjuster.

Quote:
6. How exactly are you mixing the nutrients? Both what you add and how much, as well as the process you go through when mixing them.
The recipe from jacks is (for 10 gallons of water) - 1.3 oz of 5-12-26 and .86 oz of Calcium Nitrate. This equates to 36.85 grams and 24.38 grams respectfully.

I draw 4 gallons of RO water into a 5 gallon bucket. I measure out (using a .01 gram scale) 14.74 grams of 5-12-26 and 9.75 grams of Calcium Nitrate.

I start a stirring action in the bucket and slowly add the measured amount of 5-12-26. I continue agitation until it is completely dissolved. I then complete the same process adding the measured amount of Calcium Nitrate.

The 4 gallons is then added to the tank. When the required amount of water is added the PH is measured and adjusted. The system is allowed to circulate for an hour or two and the the PH is measured again and adjusted if necessary.

(Note - the process above is for filling a new tank. When adding water/nutrients to an existing tank - the amount of water and nutrients is determined by water required and the current tank's EC level.

Quote:
7. Did you add anything other than the nutrients to the reservoir (now or ever)? Any additives etc. etc.. (list everything that has now or ever gone into the reservoir water)
Answered in reply to question 5. short answer - NO.

Quote:
8. How are you checking pH? (pH meter, pH drops, if drops what kind)
I have a Bluelab meter that measures both PH and EC. I use calibrated PH standards of 4, 7, and 10 - once or twice a week to maintain calibration. When the is a PH level that is out of line - I measure the solution's PH using PH drops. My meter has always read accurately.

Quote:
9. What are you using for pH adjusters?
When I purchased the 5-12-26 and Calcium Nitrate directly from Jacks -- I also purchased the PH UP and PH DOWN. Jack's PH Down is Citric Acid.

Quote:
10. What does the water in the reservoir look like (is it translucent/clear or clowdy)?
Crystal clear.

Quote:
11. What does the water in the reservoir smell like? Does it smell musty or moldy?
No odor or smell present.

Quote:
12. is there any foam on top of the water?
No foam -- see picture below.

Quote:
13. Is there any white powder looking residue at the bottom of the reservoir?
No residue of any sort on the bottom of the tank.

Quote:
1.) If your initial pH is actually that high you have HARD water, and a RO system that's not working correctly (probably clogged due to the hard water).
The water is not hard. I have lived previously with a well and am well aware of hard water. As stated earlier - Florida Water Authority maintains the tap water's PH between 9.0 and 9.5

Quote:
2.) Electric meters often give false results. I'm not sure what you mean by "and PH indicator solution," but unless your using pH drops to check pH, there's a chance your readings are not correct.
My meter is calibrate at least weekly and is accurate. I have a cheap ($25) "Dr Meter" PH pen that I calibrate and use as a quick sanity check.

You call them ph drops. The label on my liquid PH test solution says "PH Test Indicator" It identifies PH between 4.0 ans 8.5.

Quote:
3.) When the water supply has high pH you ALWAYS adjust pH both before and after adding the nutrients.
As stated in my post, the PH of the RO water drops over time (1 or 2 days). I suspect the change in PH is due to very little buffering being present. As posted, I ran an experiment using 4 gal of 2 day old RO water with a PH of 7.1 and another 4 gals of new created RO water with a PH of 9.0. After adding the same measured amounts of nutrients to both - the resulting EC and PH levels were exactly the same.

Quote:
4.) Citrus acid (designed for hydroponics) works just fine as a pH adjuster. If you want something with more longevity (buffers), use GH dry pH adjusters. But never use anything like battery acid or Muriatic acid that is NOT designed for hydroponics. And before you say Howard Resh said to use it again, I know who Howard Resh is and his credentials. You have a problem with your water supply and method in which you adjust pH, not a problem the pH adjusters. Sticking harsh chemicals in the water won't change that.
Citric acid works fine -- I'm just not prepared to use 1/2 pound (at $10/lb) to adjust and maintain PH.

Jack's have multiple customers that have provided them feedback that their PH Down was "weak" and had to move to a strong acid to achieve and maintain the desired PH.

Why do you say never use Muriatic acid?

Because it's not commonly used?

Nothing done with hydroponics was designed for hydroponics -- unless you mean products marketed in the stores. Hydroponics is just soil-less growth media for plants combined with chemistry. Most any acid or base can be used as long as the proper safety precautions are taken and the chemistry is well understood.

I agree that most hobbyist should not use Muriatic acid. It is a very strong acid compared to Citric acid and requires a lot of safety procedures in its use.

In my case - using Florida's water - Citric Acid is not strong enough and as of today - Muriatic acid seems to be meeting the requirements.

As of today - I am able to maintain my desired PH and have not experienced the massive PH UP swings as I have in the past using Citric Acid.

Now that I'm able to maintain my desired PH window, the tomato plants seem to like it better as I have seen a drop of .1 in the EC level over the last 24 hours.

Again - your last post was very angry. Sorry if I offended you in any way.

Your help and comments are always appreciated.

Thanks





The white in the bottom of the tank is in the plastic - not sediment.

Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-21-2016, 06:05 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

Quote:
I did not reply promptly because I had to address my PH issue and your questions were not on the path toward a solution.
I was trying to help you with your pH issue. The only way I can do that is to narrow down the possibilities. The only way I can narrow down the possibilities is to ask questions. The answers to those questions would narrow down the focus of what to look at as the source of the problem, and/or contributing problems.

All the questions I asked were about things that could affect pH. Depending on the answers, I would probably have follow up questions in the areas that your reply's indicated there could be a possible problem with those things. Then I could elaborate on what to do to fix them and why.

You don't know what the path towards fixing your problems is (any of them) or you wouldn't have the issue in the first place. You have to get the basics right first. If you have the basics right, you'll have very few problems if any at all. When you don't have the basics right, you have nothing but problems until you get them right. That's called "the learning curve." All I wanted to do is help shorten your learning curve.

You didn't reply to my questions because you didn't want to be bothered, and didn't really want to figure out your problem/s. You've shown that you simply don't care about my help or advice, and I have to many time consuming things to do to waste that time trying to help someone who couldn't care less.
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems

Last edited by GpsFrontier; 02-21-2016 at 06:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-21-2016, 06:44 PM
jhinkle jhinkle is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Default

You have a lot of anger - especially for people that might disagree with some of your statements.

Your last post was you being upset because I solved my own issue and did not reply before I did (one day).

Your posts were never in the direction of using a different stronger PH adjustment agent. You stated your opinion that a stronger acid should never be used in hydroponics -- that was your opinion but you attempted to bully that statement as being fact.

I wish you well. I hope your anger subsides toward people that disagree with you. I was hoping this would to be a forum where I could also share my designs and findings but the warm and fuzzy feeling are just not here.

Again -- thanks for the positive and constructive comments I received with my first couple of post.

Wish you well.

Bye
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-21-2016, 09:03 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

You haven't solved anything, you still have the same problem/s. You've just put a band-aid over it to cover it up so you can pretend it doesn't exist, and opened the door to more problems because you don't want to get the basics right in the first place. I'm not upset because you think you solved something, or because you may disagree. I'm upset because you asked for help and just IGNORED me because you didn't want to be bothered. That's just down right rude, not to mention a waste of my time. When someone wastes my time, I don't care to spend any more time on them. Good luck with your prolonged learning curve.
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems

Last edited by GpsFrontier; 02-21-2016 at 09:10 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-21-2016, 09:14 PM
jhinkle jhinkle is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Default

If i'm wrong, then please tell me your thoughts on what my problem is that I put a band aid on.

I don't want to waste your time.

I have answered every question you have asked but you have nothing to tell me except how upset you are.

I have NOT ignored you -- I can't -- you have not made a statement since you posted your questions.

Thanks in advance for your reply.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-21-2016, 10:10 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

You don't care about my thoughts, you've proven that. That's why you ignored my efforts to help you in the first place. I gave some general advice, then asked you a list of questions to help narrow down what is causing your pH issue on 2/16/16 and you ignored the questions. I know you saw them because I could tell by your profile you visited the forum, and specifically that thread more than once shortly after I posted them. If you didn't want to waste my time you wouldn't have posted the problem you were having, and then just IGNORED me when I tried to help. You would have answers the questions (even if you didn't think the answers would lead to anything), in hopes of finding out something useful. But you just didn't want to be bothered, thus a waste of my time.

Quote:
I have NOT ignored you -- I can't -- you have not made a statement since you posted your questions.
That's exactly the point. I asked you a series of questions to help me narrow down what exactly is causing your pH issue AND YOU IGNORED THEM!!!!!!!! You repeatedly visited the forum and never once bothered to answer ANY of them, you didn't even make an attempt to try. You just continued to IGNORE MY ATTEMPT TO HELP YOU. I cant give you advice on what's wrong and how to fix it until I know the until answers to the questions, because I don't just cover things up, I fix what's wrong and causing the problem in the first place. You just IGNORED THEM/ME. Why would I post anything after the questions, you didn't answer the questions, and give me something to reply to.

Quote:
I have answered every question you have asked but you have nothing
To little to late. You didn't bother until today to answer the questions I needed answered to help you get the basics right, and thus fix your pH problem. I know you visited the forum and that thread many times, and just didn't bother to even try to help me help you,

You may have finally answered the questions, but it's to little to late for me. I didn't waste more time to read the belated reply's. I didn't read anything past the first sentence. Because like I already told you, when someone wastes my time, I don't care to spend any more time on them.
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems

Last edited by GpsFrontier; 02-21-2016 at 10:13 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-21-2016, 11:28 PM
jhinkle jhinkle is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Default

I feel sorry for you.

Your current behavior is one of someone that has put them self on a pedestal of all knowing. When someone does not bow in reverence, you rant and rave about nothing.

You rant that my direction is wrong, that I don't understand and only you can provide the answers -- but when asked to provide -- you rant that I ignored you and now as punishment you are not going to respond.

Yes I did look at your questions. I was faced with a system that had a PH level above 9.0 and and had yourself asking questions that provided no direction towards a solution.

I have a good understanding of chemistry and hydroponics. My original post was about the way my tomato plants looked -- it was there that you directed me to empty my tank and begin anew. I did not agree with your statement, but I admit to being wrong at times -- so I purged the tank and began again. When the same situation raised it's head shortly thereafter I then knew that your direction was in error. The 10+ questions you are so upset that I did not respond to were heading it the same direction as your first comments -- which I had concluded were wrong.

I implemented my solution and all facts as of today indicates that I have properly identified root-cause and identified an acceptable solution. You appear not to like that as your last three posts are just rantings about how you were ignored and I'm wrong.

Why is it that you are so upset that I did not reply to you within the 24 hours I took to solve my own problem?

I will thank to again for your comments on fungus and plant ailments from my first post and on the papers you emailed me. I though this was a great site and you were a helpful individual. I'm sorry to say it has gone down hill from there.

I wish you luck in the future and hope the heart ache I have caused you by not agreeing with your comments subsides soon.

Life is too short - be well!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-22-2016, 12:40 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

Again you haven't solved anything, you just put a band aid on the problem to cover it up. The only reason you think the questions I asked weren't going in the right direction is because you don't have a grasp of the basics to understand why I asked each question in the first place. Much less how their related to, and affect pH. No mater what you do, unless you find the problem, you can't fix the problem. Again I don't cover things up, I fix the issue that's causing the problem.... Something you don't care about.

Not wasting my time to look over your belated reply's isn't a punishment (perhaps to you it is), it's a simple mater of common sense. You didn't care about my thoughts, recommendations, and reasoning before you think you solved something, there's no reason why you would you care about them now? That's just common sense. Taking the time to go through it now to give detailed reply to each question would be nothing but a waste of my time because you couldn't care less anyway. Your just upset because you finally took the time to reply to the questions, and I don't care anymore. Welcome to the club, now you know how I feel.

The fact that you looked for answers elsewhere only bothers me for one reason. It shows me that you obviously were still actively looking for answers, but you just didn't want to bother answering some questions to find out. Therefor wasting my time. That's why you ignored me trying to help you, and didn't want to bother answering the questions that would help me solve your issue. Again, you didn't care about my thoughts before, you don't care about them now. Therefor, there is no reason for me to take the time to bother going through the belated reply's. it's as simple as that. If you don't want help, don't ask for help.

You think you solved your problem, but you still don't have a clue what your problem is. Why? Because you still haven't found what is causing the drastic pH swings in the first place. You think as long as you don't readily see it (put a band-aid on it), the problem is fixed. Putting a picture over a hole in the wall makes it go away, but it still doesn't fix the hole in the wall. I can't help you (or anybody else) until you want to be helped. And trying to help people that don't want to be helped is just a waste of time no mater how you look at it. If your doctor repeated tells you need to quit smoking or your going to die, how long do you think he is going to try and help you when you don't care enough to hep yourself.

You need to get the basics right first. If not, you'll just be chasing problems with no understanding of why. It takes some people longer to get through the learning curve. It's up to you how long it takes. But I can't help people that don't want to be helped.
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems

Last edited by GpsFrontier; 02-22-2016 at 04:26 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-22-2016, 08:33 AM
jhinkle jhinkle is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Default

I'm shaking my head.

Your behavior is like a child having a temper tantrum.

I'm sorry you are so hurt.

To help you heal, I will not ask any more for your help. I will not ask for your comments. I will not ask that you share your abundance of knowledge.

I only hope that you mature a little so that the next individual that comes to this site and disagrees/upsets you is treated in a more professional manner.

It appears my band-aid has fallen off and indeed the issue has been resolved -- your help no longer required nor asked for.

Be well.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-22-2016, 06:32 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

The original issue is still there, your just blind to it because you put a picture in front of the hole in the wall. Your so blind you wont even know when the band-aid does falls off because you haven't figured out yet that the makeshift fix only opens the door for other problems. So you wont know what your looking at when the band-aid does fall off. You'll just keep chasing your tail as you go along. COVERING IT UP DOESN'T FIX THE PROBLEM.

Perhaps you don't read so well, as I already stated twice now: "When someone wastes my time, I don't care to spend any more time on them." That means I WAS NEVER GOING TO TRY AND HELP YOU AGAIN, but rather just IGNORE YOUR PROBLEMS LIKE YOU IGNORED ME. And again, that's not a punishment, it's just common scene. When someone doesn't care for your help, it's a waste of time to try and help them.

You can't see beyond your Donald Dump sized EGO. But I couldn't care less if you disagree with me, their your plants, not mine. You can do what you want with them. There are plenty of people that choose not to take my advice or have different opinions, and I don't take issue with any of them. What I do take issue with is people that wast my time, and are rude and disrespectful towards others. That's a huge problem that I do take issue with.

When someone post a problem, I try and help. If I don't have enough information, I'll ask questions to get that information. Once I have enough information, I'll give them my opinion on what the issue is, and how to fix it. What they do with that information is up to them. If someone is on the wrong path to fixing their problems, has come to some wrong conclusions, or just posts information about their systems that may lead to potential problems, I will reply and address those points. Once again, what they do with that information is up to them. If they repeatedly don't take my advice, I just don't bother to try and help them anymore. Not as punishment, simply because it isn't doing any good and I don't want to waste any more of my time.

My problem isn't that you didn't reply in 24 hours, many people aren't able to reply for days (sometimes weeks) for one reason or another. My problem isn't that you think you fixed your problem, and I know you haven't. It's your learning curve, not mine. My problem isn't that you disagree with me about what the problem is, as well as whether you fixed it or not. Again, their your plants, and it's your learning curve, not mine.

My problem is with your rude attitude, and lack of respect for other people. Especially those that are just trying to help you. When someone try's to help you, you don't just ignore them wasting their time and treating them disrespectfully. That's my problem with you and it's a big problem. But like Donald Dump, you cant see beyond your big fat EGO, so you have to make excuse to cover up the facts and justify your disrespectful behavior.

__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems

Last edited by GpsFrontier; 02-24-2016 at 08:26 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.